Transitions

Richard Meier permanently steps away from firm in wake of sexual assault allegations

International News Professional Practice
Richard Meier is stepping down from day-to-day activities at his firm. The announcement comes in the wake of a six-month leave of absence that the architect took this year after former employees accused him of sexual harassment and assault in The New York Times. (Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners)
Richard Meier is stepping down from day-to-day activities at his firm. The announcement comes in the wake of a six-month leave of absence that the architect took this year after former employees accused him of sexual harassment and assault in The New York Times. (Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners)

Richard Meier & Partners Architects today announced that Richard Meier “will step back from day-to-day activities” at his firm after a year in which he was accused of exposing himself to young employees and groping someone in public. Bernhard Karpf has been promoted to managing principal and will oversee the firm’s operations. Michael Palladino will be in charge of the firm’s West Coast office in Los Angeles.

Richard Meier founded the practice in 1963, and the office has since completed over 130 projects around the world and won numerous awards, including the 1984 Pritzker Prize for Meier. He became the youngest person to receive the award.

Meier rose to fame as part of the New York Five, a group of East Coast architects that included Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, and John Hejduk. Meier rose to national attention thanks to early residential and cultural projects, like the addition to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, but it was his design for the Getty Center in Los Angeles that propelled him to the highest echelon of architectural fame.

Meier’s reputation was clouded earlier this year when several female former employees accused the architect of sexual harassment and assault in The New York Times, after which Meier took a six-month leave of absence and left Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan, Dukho Yeon, and Bernhard Karpf to oversee the firm’s New York office and Michael Palladino to oversee work in Los Angeles. The firm was criticized for their response to the accusations, which alleged that Meier exposed himself to young female employees and publicly touched another inappropriately.

The firm announced that after Meier steps back, Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan, and Dukho Yeon have been promoted to principals.

In a statement, Meier’s office said that Meier “will remain available to colleagues and clients who seek his vast experience and counsel,” and that “the firm will maintain and develop the rigorous design philosophy that Richard pioneered.”

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